Training Materials available (in original Spanish):
Capacitación sobre la Supervisión de la Implementación de las Normas Uniformes sobre la Igualdad de Oportunidades para las Personas con Discapacidad en America Central y El Caribe
Anexo: Informe sobre CIDDM-2
Report of the "Training Seminar for Central America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean on the Standard Rules (Santo Domingo, 13-18 April 1998)"
United Nations Voluntary Fund on Disability project - RLA/97/D19
The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities were adopted unanimously as resolution 48/96, annex of the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 1993. The 22 Rules provide a framework for taking action for equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Rules address three issue clusters: (1) preconditions for equal participation of persons with disabilities, (2) target areas for equal participation and (3) suggested implementation measures. Part IV, paragraph 2, of the Rules state that the Rules shall be monitored within the framework of the sessions of the Commission for Social Development, a subsidiary technical body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. In March 1994, the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed Mr. Bengt Lindqvist, of Sweden, as Special Rapporteur on Disability of the Commission for Social Development, whose terms of reference include promotion and monitoring implementation of the Standard Rules.
At its thirty-fifth session, in 1997, the Commission for Social Development considered the second monitoring report of the Special Rapporteur (A/52/56, annex). The report noted the growing awareness among Governments of the Rules and the use of the Rules in the design of plans and programmes concerning persons with disabilities in many countries. The report found wide co-operation between Governments and national committees on disability, and similar bodies and organizations, which is of great importance for developments in the field of disability. The report also took note of a lack of common procedures for monitoring the implementation of the Rules (rule 20) and recommended that the United Nations assist Governments, on request, as well as interested non-governmental organizations, to build national capacities and institutions to monitor and evaluate implementation of the Rules.
The training project aims to strengthen national capacities in the field of disability and promote greater awareness of disability issues and trends. The current project was designed and implemented by Disabled Peoples International (http://www.dpi.org) in cooperation with the Government of the Dominican Republic and with the participation of the Federación Nacional Dominicana de Discapacitados (FENADID) and the Asociación Dominicana de Rehabilitación (ADR). Associates for International Management Services (http://www.intlmgt.com) served as project subcontractor to DPI to plan, implement and evaluate pilot training among selected DPI national affiliates on international norms and standards related to persons with disabilities. The seminar was co-financed by a grant from the United Nations Voluntary Fund on Disability.
The basic purpose of the project was to provide members of national affiliates of Disabled Peoples' International, initially in Central America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, with an introduction to the purpose, organization and content of the Standard Rules so that they can more effectively participate in promoting their implementation and systematic monitoring. The project had four main tasks: (a) develop and test a practical and cost-effective training plan and programme of instruction on the Standard Rules, (b) conduct pilot training on the Standard Rules, (c) develop and test locally-appropriate training materials and (d) formulate a plan to extend the training experience to DPI national affiliates, in cooperation with Governments concerned, in other regions and sub-regions.
- The project aims to increase the knowledge of leaders of selected DPI national affiliates about international norms and standards in the field of disability and to the rationale and content of the Standard Rules so that they may more effectively participate in national policy processes.
- The projects seeks to strengthen the abilities of leaders of selected DPI national affiliates to examine and evaluate how Governments design and implement policies and programmes related to persons with disabilities by providing them with practical tools for collecting, organizing, analyzing and presenting information.
- The project intends to improve the skills of leaders of DPI national affiliates in organizing public information activities and planning advocacy campaigns with governmental agencies concerning persons with disabilities.
The current training seminar was carried out by DPI in cooperation with the Government of the Dominican Republic and with the participation of FENADID and ADR from 13 to 18 April 1998 at Santo Domingo. The seminar had three principal sets or activities:
- Lecture-conferences on monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules;
- Group work, exchanges and planning sessions;
- Study tours to selected training and rehabilitation facilities.
Representatives of the following national affiliates of Disabled Peoples' International (DPI) participated in the seminar: Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Panama. Representatives of interested bodies and organizations in the Dominican Republic participated as well. Sra. María Eugenia Antunez of Mexico, a recently-elected member of the Panel of Experts, representing, DPI also joined the proceedings.
The seminar was opened on Monday, 13 April, by the Honorable Dr. Jaime David Fernández Mirabal, Vice-President of the Dominican Republic, who delivered a highly-regarded inaugural address. Mrs. Lucy Wong-Hernández, Executive Director of DPI, provided an overview of the seminar and the mission and philosophy of DPI. Mr. Teófilo Alarcón, President of FENADID, discussed the importance of the current training activity since it signified that people with disabilities in the Dominican Republic no longer are isolated from the outside world. Mrs. Gloria María Hernández, Chair of the National Council on Disability of the Dominican Republic (CONAPREM) described current disability-related programmes in the Dominican Republic. Mrs. Mary Pérez de Marrancini, President of ADR, delivered welcoming remarks to participants in the training seminar and technical exchanges at Santo Domingo.
The "Training seminar on monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules", took place from 14 to 17 April 1998. The training seminar was organized and conducted by leadership training specialists from Associates for International Management Services (http://www.intlmgt.com) under a subcontract with Disabled Peoples' International. The three and one-half day training programme ("Programa de trabajo") covered the background and content of the Standard Rules ("Las Normas Uniformes"), use of information to promote and monitor implementation, techniques of organizational leadership and advocacy. The seminar was conducted by means of lecture-conferences and group work. The report of the seminar ("Informe del Seminario") indicates that two key results of the group work were the identification of the most important Rules to be addressed in the sub-region and the formulation of an action plan for follow up.
The evaluation of the seminar suggests that the training experience proved to be useful since its main focus was on practical implementation issues and measures. Most participants indicated a general awareness of the Rules. However, the presentations of group work and discussions of national experiences proved to be most useful in identifying which of the 22 Rules were of greatest importance to the sub-region and the steps that persons with disabilities could take to advocate action by Governments to further implement the Rules.
The training seminar greatly exceeded the objectives outlined in the project plan of operations and budget:
- A total of fifteen (15) leaders of the DPI national affiliates from 8 countries in Central America, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean attended the training seminar.
- Over one hundred (100) leaders of the DPI national affiliate (FENADID) in the Dominican Republic attended the training seminar.
- The training experience increased the knowledge and understanding of these leaders of the content and interpretations of the Standard Rules in their own country and at regional and international levels.
- The training experience increased the abilities of these leaders to examine and evaluate how their Governments designed and implemented policies related to persons with disabilities.
- The training experience increased the skills of these leaders to lobby Governments with regard to promoting equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities.
- The training experience equipped these leaders with new information and skills to plan and organize similar training activities in their own country.
- The report produced by the seminar provides both the participating DPI national affiliates and other interested parties with a concise and substantive introduction to the Standard Rules, discusses basic issues, concepts and methods for implementation and monitoring, and examines options for follow up to further implement the Rules.
The pilot training seminar proved to be a valuable educational experience for all participants. In addition to learning more about the background, structure and rationale of the Standard Rules, DPI representatives from Central America, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, including participants and observers from the Dominican Republic, were able to use productively this opportunity to exchange information on the implementation of the Standard Rules in their countries.
There was considerable interest expressed by representatives of DPI national assemblies to explore possibilities of conducting similar training seminars in other parts of Latin America.
The experience of this seminar suggests to DPI the urgent need for both additional and more intensive training offerings on the Standard Rules in other parts of Latin America as well as in other regions - to provide persons with disabilities with information about this major international policy instrument so that they may be empowered and better able to work with their Governments to improve the quality of their life and livelihoods.